Transformation of cells in tissue culture results in a variety of cellular changes including alterations in cell growth, adhesiveness, motility, morphology, and organization of the cytoskeleton. Morphological and cytoskeletal changes are perhaps the most readily apparent features of transformed cells. Although a number of studies have documented a decrease in the expression of specific tropomyosin (TM) isoforms in transformed cells, it remains to be determined if the suppression of TM synthesis is essential in the establishment and maintenance of the transformed phenotype. To address the roles of different TM isoforms in transformed cells we have examined the effects of expressing specific TM isoforms in transformed cells using a Kirsten virus-transformed cell line (ATCC NRK 1569) as a model system. In contrast to normal fibroblasts, the NRK 1569 cells contain reduced levels of TM-1 and undetectable level of TM-2 and TM-3. These cells have a rounded morphology and are devoid of stress fibers. Employing expression plasmids for TM-2 and TM-3, stable cell lines were established from the NRK 1569 cells that express these isoforms individually. We demonstrate that expression of TM-2 or TM-3 leads to increased cell spreading accompanied by the formation of identifiable microfilament bundles, as well as significant restoration of well-defined vinculin-containing focal adhesion plaques, although expression of each Isoform exhibited distinct properties. In addition, cells expressing TM-2, but not TM-3, exhibited contact-inhibited cell growth and a requirement for serum.
Useful keywords (using NLM MeSH Indexing)
Cell Line, Transformed
Cell Transformation, Neoplastic*
Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect